from iMac to MBP + Cinema Display, The way to go?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ColeUK, May 14, 2010.

  1. ColeUK macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    I currently have a iMac 24" mid 2009 (3.06ghz, 4GB, 1TB HD etc...) **See Signature**

    Now on a side, I am looking to upgrade my old Sony laptop and thought about going down the MBP + Cinema Display route, and selling my iMac.

    I am a flight attendant and portability is definately something I am looking for now. I need a MBP that will match as close to my current iMac as I am looking to do design using Adobe CS4 etc...And possibly later some music production. I also do some amateur photography, PS, Bridge.

    May be a lot to ask but I am looking to cover as many bases as I can, naturally!

    Am thinking about a 15" MBP i7 3.06ghz, what do you think? May consider a 17" too. I will look to utilize some of my time away to do design work and the ext cinema display will be a bonus when I am at home?

    What do you think, any suggestions or advice, things to consider?
  2. EasyJW macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
    go with the 15 i7 [​IMG] the 17 isn't really mega portable, and all you'll be getting is screen space, when you admit you'd get an ACD with it. you could even go with the 13" if you get the ACD but for the extra power you might need for your music production etc, the 15 will do
  3. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    My boat...

    I am in the EXACT same boat.

    I have a 24" 2008 iMac that can barely keep up with my photo/graphics work, and an oldddd macbook. I have been strongly considering selling both and getting a 15" MBP + older matte ACD.

    I am mainly keeping my eyes peeled for a good deal on the ACD on CL, so if I find one I may just pull the trigger...
  4. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Hey :)

    You say you'd be looking to utilise some of your time away from home to do design work so the 17in isn't necessarily out of the equation as easily as it would be for most casual portable users. I can't really help you too much with that particular piece of your question, save to say that the 15in really is much more portable than many of the lightweights around here would have you believe, and so the 17in probably isn't *that* much of a behemoth.

    On to the main point. I have a MBP (15in MID 2009) and an older matte 20in ACD. I doubt I'll ever have a desktop again. I'm at university at the moment, and the convenience of unplugging it, taking it with me, then plugging it back in at home and having more than double the display space really can't be underestimated.

    My dad has an iMac, and I use it occasionally, but after having had two displays I feel so constrained having one! Not necessarily the 'real estate' as you Americans put it :p More shoving unwanted crap onto another screen until it's needed. Spaces helps, but it's not the same.

    Particularly awesome if you're using palettes, multiple windows, etc., as you likely will be when using design programs.
  5. yayitsezekiel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    I have a 17 inch macbook pro and it's completely portable. if it's not to you...well you need to go to a gym or something. I'd say go for it
  6. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010
    My 2 cents as some that has traveled a lot and used (or tried using) laptops on planes and in air ports for years is:

    A MBP 17 is a "luggable", not a portable. If you want portability, you'll probably regret this choice quickly. Unless you are in first class or maybe exit isle, a 17 will very hard to use. And moving with it through an air port and through security is a bigger pain.

    The 15 is better, it would be considered "normal". It's not bad.

    Although the MBP 13 is only 2 inches smaller than the 15, if you get a bag sized for a 13, the 13 is SOO much easier to move with and a world better than a 17. The size and weight will really make difference after a couple of hours traveling. It is also far easier to use the 13 anywhere.

    I have a MBP 13 for portability. I use it for CS5 and some application development, in addition to the normal surfing. I have a great 24" to use when not travel. That all work great. The 13 works when travel for everything except CS5 and Bridge. I can use it for CS5 but it's not ideal. For photography work, the screen will be your gating factor. To be honest, I'm willing to live with the smaller screen because it only impacts me about 5% of the time.. or less. The freedom of movement, and the fact that it would have cost me 40% more to get a MBP 15 makes it all worth it to me.

    I think you probably need the screen real estate of the 15 from the sounds of it. Portability alone is pointless if you can't complete your tasks when you get there. I would think about the MBP 15 with the high-res screen. I don't know that I would get the Anti-glare screen. You might WANT the screen glare.. it makes it harder for people to shoulder surf LOL. :)
  7. Dolorian macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    A MBP + Cinema Display is the best computer setup imo. Best of both worlds. I recently sold my 20" iMac and got one of the new 15" MBP and am waiting for my 24" Cinema Display. Go for it.
  8. ColeUK thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Thanks for you input guys, Looking into the 15" MBP over the next few weeks.

    Exciting stuff!
  9. ColeUK thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Keep the iMac instead of getting an ACD?

    So I am in the San Fran Apple store for the third time in as a many mumber of days, Looking over the new MBP 15", When something else sprang to mind.

    Instead of selling my iMac and buying an ACD, I keep the iMac and for the sake of a few hundred pound (gained if i was to sell it and buy a ACD) get to have a fully funcitional computer at home with a 1TB HD for storage well as my 'on the road' MBP??

    What do u think?

    The next problem is do I go for a top of the range MBP or go for slightly less specs i.e 2.53ghz i5 with 256mb Graphics, or 2.66ghz i7 with 512mb Graphics?

    And here comes the next big dilemma! Glossy Vs. Anti-Glare? Either way I will be going for Hi-res, My iMac has a glossy screen, and my iPhone as glossy WITH anti-glare film on?

    I love the look of the MBP with black screen and glossy, its sexy and as i'd expect it, but I like the idea of Antiglare and taking my MBP in the park/coffee shop work on? But then I could probably achieve this near enough as much as with the Glossy? grrr!?

    Deep down I think I am gonna go with the 15" MBP 2.66ghz with Glossy hi-res screen and keep the iMac as well!???

    Please let me know what your thoughts are! Many Thanks!

  10. aumnevergiveup macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2009
    you have a really nice setup :cool:
    to keep iMac on your hand and buy i5 MBP are good option.
    my only problem, about the synchronization data :(
    i have PC and macbook, it give me a lot frustation :mad:
    so i'll choose MPB and larger display. this is best setup IMO.

    about glossy screen, i'll choose that one :D
    buy anti glare and you done.

    have a good day with your new i5 MBP :D
    i want it badly!!
  11. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    If you do ditch the iMac, look to get a Henge Dock to compliment your MBP.
  12. zoomzoom3 macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    also in the same boat

    Add me to the list of people who are in the same boat... I am going to be upgrading in June, presently have a 2.8Ghz 24" iMac & prev generation 13" 2.26Ghz MBP. I am looking at either the i5 or i7 15" MBP and adding the LED Cinema Display for when I'm working at home.

    From all the benchmarks I've seen, either model will be a boost in speed (even more when i upgrade to SSD storage :) ), but I don't have the luxury of an Apple store near by (closest is 10hrs away lol) to test and compare the new models - there is a Best Buy, but they only stock the base i5. Is there a noticeable speed difference between the i5 & i7 in day to day use? Or would I be better off spending the difference (~400 CAD) on the screen? Also, would the i5/i7 MBP be sufficient to replace the 08/09 iMacs given the generation gap between them and the new MBPs?

  13. Christina1971 macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2007
    May I piggyback off this thread and ask another question of people who have a MBP+Cinema Display setup? One of the mildly annoying things is how the fans in my Macbook (an old one, 2006) spin up when I do any kind of taxing activity, like play a Flash video or have multiple processor intensive activities open at one time. That's one reason why I haven't wanted to get a laptop + Display (that, and the price.)

    Are the newer MBPs more quiet, or is fan noise just part of the game when you're talking about laptop computers?
  14. ColeUK thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    My understanding from visiting the Apple Store and talking to a few in store consultants is

    - 'Day to day' use of i5/i7 MBP you wont notice much difference in speed, the expert went as far as saying the i5 would have enough kick to frequently use my Adobe programs etc....when doing design work.

    It would be difficult to realistically compare these models in store as the display models only tend to have the generic preinstalled Apple suites on anyway which will perform in a similar way on all models.

    - as for iMac's, well they are still the work horses and will always tend to perform better then laptops and MBP's, as for how older models compare, I can't confidently say, my 09 iMac is a 3.06ghz Core 2 Duo, with 4gb Memory though.

    I am no expert though, so best to continue reading through the forums or doing some further research online.
  15. ColeUK thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    The new MBP's come standard with a 5400rpm HD which will produce less fan noise etc....then say the 7200rpm HD upgrade option that is available. So indeed I would expect there to be less noise then older models but don't have any experience to draw on I am afraid.

    TBH, the only way to reduce noise further would be to buy an SSD 'Solid State Drive' which has no moving parts and is the future of Hard Drives and quieter laptops. Currently it comes with a big price tag though as the SSD is only just making it onto the consumer scene. You can expect the price to come down in the next future releases and even as standard over the next few years onwards.....

    If you want to eliminate fan noise completely then SSD is the way to go!
  16. ColeUK thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    WOW! thanks for the that, loving The Henge Dock!

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